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Principles of Our Pupil Admission Policies

The Aspirations Academies Trust is the admissions authority for all Aspirations Academies. The Trust Board has agreed principles for admissions to our academies, although each Aspirations Academy has its own admissions policy. The admissions policy is developed for each academy through discussion between the Central Management Team, the Academy Principal and the relevant Local Advisory Board.

The overriding rationale for the admission of pupils and students to our academies is to encourage, wherever possible, all-through education from the ages of 2 until 19. The reasons for this are:

  • Continuity of education, leading to much improved outcomes for individual students
  • Greater student and parent engagement
  • Providing parents with a stress free education provision - all students in Aspirations Academies are virtually guaranteed a place in the next academy
  • Seamless transition between phases

     

Primary Academy Admission Principles

  • Pupils are admitted into reception up to the relevant Pupil Admission Number (PAN).
  • If the academy is oversubscribed then after the admission of students whose statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan names the school, the following criteria will be applied to determine those children who will be offered places:
    • Looked after children and children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).
    • Children with sibling attending the school in the academic year of admission
    • Children of teaching staff in the following circumstances:
      • where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made, and/or
      • the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skills shortage.
  • Children for whom this is the nearest school measured by the shortest designated route from the home address
  • Any other children whose parents wish them to attend the Academy

    The rationale for the above criteria is based on the premise that we aim to serve, as much as possible, the local community. Some primary academies are adding criteria to try to give some form of preference to children who have attended the aspirations nursery.

     

Secondary Academy Admission Principles

Our secondary academies are measured for academic performance against national averages. For this reason all our Aspirations Academies aim to provide places for local children within a profile that compares to the national distribution of ability. This is achieved through the use of three ability bands - high, middle and low.

To allocate Year 7 students to the appropriate band, all applicants to the Academy are required to sit a Cognitive Ability Test (in our mainstream academies. Students sit a numeracy test for entry to the science and maths based Space Studios).  As these tests are conducted before the students join the academy this also allows the academy to provide an appropriate education for each student from the moment they arrive. Students are allocated to an ability band on the basis of their test score. There are 3 ability bands - the percentage of places available in each band is determined by the profile of the national distribution of ability. 

The PAN for Year 7 in our academies is usually 180 students. This is because we believe that the ideal school size to provide the most effective and broad comprehensive education is 1100 students (180 students in each of Year 7-11 and 200 students in the sixth form). If the academy is oversubscribed then after the admission of students whose statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan names the school, the following criteria is applied to determine those children who will be offered places within each band. The criteria are listed in priority order:

  1. Looked after children and all previously looked after children. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted, (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order). Such students will be given top priority in each band before the oversubscription criteria is applied.
  2. Children with a sibling already at the Academy, ordered by shortest distance between home and the academy.
  3. Children who currently attend a Primary Aspirations Academy, currently (Name of local Aspirations Academies), ordered by shortest distance between home and the academy.*The philosophy of the Aspirations Academies Trust considers all-through, age 2-19 education to be very effective practice and brings many educational benefits to our young people and their parents. Each of our secondary  academies work very closely with the staff and pupils at local primary Aspirations Academies with many shared staff and joint initiatives in place.  Pupils from both our primary Aspirations Academies will have the local Aspirations Academy for many years, and this number will increase as the philosophical, educational and operational ties between the academies strengthens further. The Aspirations Academies Trust publicises to parents of pre-school age the advantages to them of choosing and all-through age education in a local area. The philosophy of the Trust is to develop a small District of local schools in the area providing guaranteed all-through age education for 180 students in each year group.
  4. Children of teaching staff in the following circumstances:
  1. where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made and/or
  2. children of newly  appointed  staff,  filling  a  post  with  a “demonstrable  skills shortage” (School Admissions Code 2012) 
  1. Children who have the shortest distance between home and the academy.